Last year’s Newton Johnson flagship wines sold out in record time. The Burgundian-style Family Vineyards not only offer great value compared to their international counterparts, but locally, they punch well above their price point.
The elegant and ethereal Pinot Noir has arguably the finest track record of Platter’s 5-stars and last year Decanter named it as one of the top 3 Pinots in the world outside Burgundy! Representing the soils of the entire domaine, it’s the result of strict selection from the most reputed vineyards. The Chardonnay too is no stranger to 5-stars and is produced from incredibly low-yielding vines on the mid-slope at Newton Johnson.
Across the Cape, the 2016s need to be carefully selected but the vintage was very good in the valley outside Hermanus. Both wines are worthy follow-ups from the profound 2015s and only time will tell as to which vintage is better. In fact, these are some of the finest 2016s we have tasted but, once again, they are very limited.
Newton Johnson, Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016 – R 335
Unlike most of the Cape winelands, 2016 was a very good vintage in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley and compares favourably to the brilliant 2015s. The Family Vineyards Pinot is hauntingly deep and impressive, ever reminding one of the fragrance of red Burgundy. Quite closed and backward, with air glowing red fruits, undergrowth, truffles and perfume leads to a silky, medium-bodied palate. Tight and teasing, a long spicy tail caresses your palate with waves of elegant fruit. Best from 2019 to 2025. – Roland Peens (July 2017)
Newton Johnson, Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2016 – R 280
The flagship Family Vineyards Chardonnay is as bright, textured and profound as always. It shows fine lemon and green apple with baked nuts and earthy notes on the finish. A backbone of acidity balances a sense of oiliness, coated with classy oak that is quite prominent in its youth. Exceptionally elegant and long, expect the components to gel over the next 5 years. – Roland Peens (July 2017)